Orkney taser incident: Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) say police use of taser was necessary after a 22- year -old man in Orkney was tasered by officers for threatening police with knife

Police claim the use of a taser was ‘necessary, proportionate and justified’ after a man in Orkney was tasered by officers when he appeared to reach for a knife in February this year.

The 22-year-old man was tasered at his house in Orkney in February (Photo: Scott Merrylees).

An officer discharged a taser at a 22-year-old man in Orkney when he made a ‘sudden lunge’ towards an officer while reaching for a knife sheath in his trouser waistband.

It follows after two Police Scotland specially trained officers (STO’s) were sent to the man’s home where they saw from his window that he had armed himself with a metal pole and knife.

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The incident happened at the man’s house in Orkney at around 3.15 am on Sunday February 21.

The man was subsequently arrested following the incident.

He was left ‘temporarily incapacitated’ with ‘no after effects’, according to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) into the use of the taser.

Prior to the incident, the 22-year-old made ‘numerous’ 999 calls to Police Scotland.

The PIRC reported stated that the man was shouting, swearing and stating that he wanted to stab police officers.

The 22-year-old man also said that he had mental health issues.

The knife-brandishing man was well-known to the police and emergency services in Orkney for his history of self-harming, mental health issues and criminal conduct, including the use of weapons and violence towards police officers.

Outlining the events, The PIRC report states: “The man was shouting that he was going to stab and kill the officers.

"He was instructed to drop the weapons and both officers pointed their Tasers at him.

"When the man left the house he was instructed to kneel on the ground.

"He was initially compliant but then ran at an officer and reached towards a knife sheath in the waistband of his trousers, resulting in both officers discharging their Tasers, and temporarily incapacitating the man.

"He was then arrested and handcuffed. The man suffered no after effects from the Taser and was detained in police custody.”

The 22-year-old appeared at court and received a custodial sentence.

The PIRC report found that, in the circumstances, the use of the taser was “necessary, proportionate and justified.”

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